Groves: I’m going to get rid of Eubank Jr.
By Allan Fox: George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) feels Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs) is going to struggle in the early going of their fight this Saturday night and make a mistake and walk into a big shot.
Groves, 29, says he’s going to get rid of Eubank Jr. with a well-placed punch once he makes a mistake of fighting reckless against him. Groves says Eubank Jr’s habit of throwing a lot of punches is going to get him hurt in their fight at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Groves says Eubank Jr. has fought too many weak opponents and had too many poor sparring partners that didn’t make him pay when he attacked them with his bum rushing style of fighting.
(Photo credit: World Boxing Super Series)
Groves remarks that if Eubank Jr. had been fighting better opposition with punching power, he would have paid the price already with high volume punching style. You can only get away with fighting like that lesser opposition, Groves feels.
Groves and Eubank Jr. will be meet up in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament this Saturday night. The winner moves on to the finals of the tournament. The loser will have to hit the reset button on their career and try and figure out what went wrong.
“I don’t know when I became such a slow fighter,” Groves said to IFL in responding to Eubank. “My hand speed is underrated. Junior thinks I’m underestimating his desire to win. I’m not. That’s one thing I do give him credit for his desire to win. I don’t believe the philosophy that you deserve to win because you want it more. That doesn’t work,” Groves said.
Groves doesn’t need to have blazing fast hand speed. He’s like a Gennady Golovkin and Steve Collins type of puncher. Groves times his opponents to make up for what he lacks in hand speed. You don’t need blazing fast hand speed to be successful in boxing. If you know how to time your opponent, and if you have good punching power, then you can succeed. Groves isn’t as fast as Eubank Jr., but he’s not that much slower. Groves has better hand speed than Golovkin, and we’ve seen what kind of success he’s had. Eubank Jr. isn’t lightning quick like Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao or how Roy Jones Jr. was during his prime. Eubank Jr. has good speed, but not great.
”He believes he’s going to win because he deserves it,” Groves said. ”That has no part to play in it. It’s going to come down to who’s the better fighter on the night. I’ll be better on the night. He’s not going to be able to beat me with grit and determination. I’m going to beat him with skill,” Groves said.
Wanting it more than the other fighter only helps if the fighter that wants to win is willing to take whatever punishment they need to for them to win. If Eubank Jr. is willing to walk through fire on Saturday night and risk everything to try and score a knockout, then he’ll have a better chance of succeeding. It’s doubtful that Eubank Jr. has done more than Groves in the preparation for the fight. I think they both have done as much as they can to get ready for the fight. The winner of the match will be determined on who the better fighter is, and which of them lands the better shots. Groves is right in saying that Eubank Jr. wanting it more won’t be a factor, because if every fighter won simply they felt they wanted it more than their opponent, no one would ever lose.
”This fight isn’t about letting your hands go,” Groves said. ”It doesn’t matter if I get hit a few times on the way in, because I know I’ll be able to land a few more on the end. You can get away with that in sparring guys who aren’t as good as you, and you got a full-face head gear on and they’re wearing big gloves. In a real fight, you can’t give no shots away. That’s what he’s neglecting; what’s coming back at you. I don’t waste punches. Every punch I throw is intended to have maximum impact, and I don’t miss that many and it’s going to be a massive problem for him,” Groves said.
If Groves lands a body shot while Eubank Jr. is trying to unload with one of his flurries, it might be all she wrote for Junior. Eubank Jr. has shown an ability to take head shots, but the story might be a little different when he gets hit to the body. That’s something you can never get used to. If Groves hits Eubank Jr. with a hard-enough body shot while he’s throwing one of his flurries, it could be all over for him. If Eubank Jr. is smart, he’ll be selective with the punches he lands, and he doesn’t throw too many shots at a time unless he can hurt Groves. If Eubank Jr. gets Groves in bad shape, then he can unload on him in the same way he did against his last opponent Avini Yildirim.
”Junior’s game plan is to come out and bum rush me and hope that he lets enough shots go that the referee jumps in prematurely,” Groves said. ”I can’t have that obviously. That’s happened to me before when Howard Foster jumped in prematurely (in first Carl Froch fight in 2013). So, I’m probably the most unlikely person it will happen to. He’s not going to be in the position to where he can bum rush me so that someone feels they have to stop the fight. Yeah, I’m very confident,” Groves said.
Groves will need to be conscious that he doesn’t let Eubank Jr. hit him too many times in a row with shots, because there’s a possibility the referee will step in to halt the fight if he’s concerned that he’s hurt. Groves had that happen in his knockout loss to Carl Froch in their first fight in 2013. Referee Howard John Foster hastily stopped the action in round 9 while Groves was still fighting. Foster saw Froch land 4 shots in a row without Groves answering back. But right when foster grabbed Groves, he started throwing shots back and Froch. It didn’t matter to Foster. He had made up his mind to halt the fight. He put Groves in a headlock and had him in a helpless position while Froch nailed him a couple of times. Foster really blew it with his premature stoppage. Groves can’t let the referee that works this Saturday’s fight do the same thing to him.
”I think I’m going to find the range on my jab straightaway,” Groves said. ”Once I do that, I’ll be able to control and dictate the pace of the fight. I feel the more desperate he becomes the more reckless he becomes. He’s desperate to win. He will have to go out on his shield for this. He’s not going to go out to live to fight another day. When he feels he’s not having success, he’s going to have to jump in for bigger shots and be more casual, and then I’m going to move in for a big shot and get rid of him,” Groves said.
Groves says he’s going to get rid of Eubank Jr. Groves is going to need to make sure he gets to Eubank Jr. early, because he could end up taking too much punishment if he waits until the second half of the fight. Groves might end up too punch drunk for him to knockout Eubank Jr. by that point in the fight.